For decades, retailers have relied on very traditional transactions. In the not so distant past, consumers who wanted to buy something would have to “actually” go to a store location to make their purchase. Over the past several years, this traditional transaction model has dramatically changed. With the move to more online retail destinations, no more Saturdays spent getting the kids into the car and bouncing from store to store to get what you need. All one has to do now-a-days is log on to a site like Amazon.com and everything from hammers to curtains to even baby formula is just a click away. So, how can the traditional retailers stay afloat in this e-commerce driven society?
With the advent of the smart phone app and new app-related technologies such as Square, everyone from retailers to street peddlers can now accept credit cards like a legit store. With people carrying less and less cash these days, having the ability to put a purchase on a debit card or credit card is an absolute necessity for most shoppers. Mobile payment solutions like LevelUp, PayPal mobile and Google Wallet have had a huge impact on the transaction landscape. Just 5 years ago, a mobile card reader would have been considered futuristic. All of these technologies have allowed retailers and brands to get outside of the brick and mortar store and onto the street.
Beyond the Physical Footprint
Today, companies like our client Samsonite have gone a step further to reach consumers where they are. Late last year, they commissioned a retail trailer to accompany their experiential activities. Now, at an experiential event for the Samsonite brand, you can not only test out their casual bag products on their branded inflatable proving grounds, you can also purchase your very own bag to take home. The fact is Samsonite and companies like them have just begun to scratch the surface of what we expect to see for years to come.
Brands and their partner agencies are certainly up for the challenge of finding alternative avenues to the traditional retail space. Making products available for sale at experiential events is certainly a smart way to move consumers from awareness to purchase fairly quickly. Whether leveraging the latest technologies or creating pop-up stores, there are an array of options for marketers to help extend the retail experience beyond the physical store to reach more consumers and ultimately drive more sales. Additionally, integrating retail extensions to experiential events can offset some of the costs for the marketing investment. A win-win for consumers and brands!”